How to Get On the Dark Web and Safely Email Someone From it?
Today, there are over 4.6 billion Internet users as of May 31st in the world, out of almost 7.8 billion people in total, according to the World Internet Users Statistics for 2020 Q1. In other words, almost 60% of people although mostly in developed countries) are using the Internet regularly.
But these numbers only show us the “surface” web. The one you use to browse your social feeds, shop online, open Google and so on. The problem with this web
There is, however, another part of the Internet that you can go to if you want some privacy and don’t want your online activities scrutinized with every website visit on sent email.
This “other” web is called the “Dark Web”.
What is the Dark Web?
If you ever heard of the “dark web”, chances are, you heard about it from movies and TV shows like USA Network’s Mr. Robot.
This article is about to show you that not only anxiety-suffering hoodie-wearing hackers like Elliot are using the dark web. Regular people, with no anarchistic inclinations, also use the dark web, especially if they want, for whatever reason, to stay anonymous online.
So what is the dark web?
First, it’s important to distinguish between the “dark web” and another type of web called the “Deep Web”
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing search and index websites through links and then rank them by relevance, keywords, inbound links and other factors.
However, not all information is available on the surface web. Some of it is “below the surface”, or on the part of the web called the “Deep Web”. For example, a website may have some of its content behind a paywall and this page won’t be indexed and shown by search engines.
Most of the content on the web is located on the deep web and not the Surface Web. According to the International Business Times, the deep web is from 5 to 500,000 times the size of the Surface Web.
So what does this include? The deep web includes content you won’t find using search engines, such as:
- Your online banking accounts
- Your social media accounts
- Your email accounts
- Company private database
- Gated content
- Academic and research content
- And other content you can’t access on the surface web without some authentication
As you can see, none of this content is “illegal” in any way and we all use the deep web almost daily. However, there is a very small part of the deep web that has a more negative connotation and that is the dark web.
What is the dark web?
The dark web houses websites that can’t be accessed through regular browsers. You can’t “google” something that is on the dark web. Sites on it don’t end with .com, .net and other regular TLDs, but have their own TLD, .onion, which is not accessible via Google and other browsers.
For instance, if you try to access the.onion page for the Uncensored Hidden Wiki you’ll get this error from Google:
Instead, you need a special browser to access the dark web. Just like with regular browsers, there are several dark web browsers, but the best known is Tor or The onion router, which was created by the U.S. Navy.
To use the Tor network, you first need to download the Tor browser from Tor Project. Once you do that, all your traffic will be routed through the Tor network and anonymized by this browser. The whole network consists of thousands of public nodes that the Tor browser connects to randomly, then bounces off through a random middle relay, until getting out through the exit node.
This whole “node bouncing” process makes it very difficult if not impossible for someone you see your IP address and trace you. For this very reason, the dark web and Tor are excellent for those who want to stay anonymous online.
However, Tor isn’t the only browser you can use to access the dark web, although it is best known and most commonly used.
Some other dark web browsers include:
- Invisible Internet Project
If you look at that list, you’ll likely recognize some names like Firefox and Opera. These “mainstream” browsers allow you to change your router information in the settings and access the Tor network. Before doing that, however, I recommend downloading and installing some security plugins and using a virtual private network (VPN) just to be on the safe side from malicious actors.
Is the Dark Web Illegal or Dangerous?
Speaking of malicious actors and software, you’re probably wondering if accessing the dark web will get you in trouble with the law.
Well, there’s no straight yes or no answer to this. Like anything else on the Internet, there is a good and bad side to the dark web.
On one side, the dark web is used to sell drugs, credit cards, weapons and other criminal activities. For instance, according to a study from 2019 Into the Web of Profit, out of all the dark web listings around 60% can harm an enterprise. That does not even include the drug-selling ones.
But on the other side is the dark web that is used by people who are not criminals, but want to stay anonymous and for example avoid government censorship. This part of the dark web is much like the surface or Clearnet web that we know and use. There is even a Facebook version, several Wikis, a site for whistleblowers and journalists called SecureDrop and mirror sites for BBC and the like.
Email on the Dark Web
As you can see, every time you sign up to Gmail or some other email service, you are actually on the deep web because you had to use authentication (username and password).
That does not mean you are anonymous, however. For that, you need to use a secure email service like CTemplar.
CTemplar is an end-to-end encrypted email service that provides a much higher level of privacy and security than your regular email providers like Gmail or Yahoo and can be used by anyone who doesn’t want their emails spied upon by government agencies or Google.
If you want to be completely anonymous, use the CTemplar Onion Site.